Harden, LeVert and Oladipo all find new homes

By: Joseph Casciaro

(Photo via Andrew Yang)

On Wednesday afternoon the NBA was shaken by a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. While Harden makes his way to the Big Apple, many dominoes fell across the league to make it happen. This trade has changed the entire landscape of the league. The full trade breakdown is as follows:


To Brooklyn Nets: James Harden

To Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 Nets first-round picks, 1 Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick, 4 Nets first-round pick swaps

To Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince

To Indiana Pacers: Caris LeVert, a second-round pick


In a surprising turn of events, it seems like every team involved did pretty well in this trade and all the pieces acquired have the potential to bring success to their new teams. We can now look at what this means for the Nets, Rockets, Cavs and Pacers respectively.


Brooklyn Nets

(Photo via CBS Sports)

It is pretty clear how well the Brooklyn Nets did in this trade, as they now have arguably the best scorer in the NBA with James Harden. The team now includes possibly the most skilled big 3 we have ever seen with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and now Harden.

There are a lot of worries if all three of these guys will be able to mesh well together considering they all need the ball to impact the game. However, if they can find a way to adjust their playing styles this could be the best team the NBA has seen since the Golden State Warriors dynasty.


Irving would need to change his style to be similar to the current Nets head coach, Steve Nash, as he will need to really embrace his role as a playmaker. If Irving is comfortable doing that, which is a very big if, he can find the two best scorers in the NBA and make something special.


Another issue people have with this trade is the Nets gave up a lot of their depth, by sending off Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. However, I think this is a big overreaction since Kyrie, KD and Harden will eat most minutes and the bench is actually still quite solid.


The bench will now mainly feature Landry Shamet who is an effective 3 and D type player, Jeff Green a veteran that brings a lot of energy and now Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarrot will get consistent minutes and he has continued to show signs of improvement since last season’s bubble.


If the big 3 works well together and the new bench players play to the best of their abilities, the Nets are without question winning the NBA Championship this season.


Houston Rockets

(Photo via Yahoo! Canada)

The Rockets did quite well in this trade and got a crazy return for their longtime superstar. The amount of draft picks they received is insane and they could be loaded up with young talent for the better part of the next decade. Then they also acquired Victor Oladipo from the Indiana Pacers to replace Harden in the starting lineup.


The draft picks speak for themself and any team having this many picks is a big win, but we can look closer at the Oladipo acquisition. Oladipo recently came to stardom ever since joining the Pacers back in 2017 and every year he has shown improvement.

He also brings the Rockets the defence they so desperately need, he is nowhere close as effective on offence as Harden but he is a lot better on the defensive end. Oladipo is also still a consistent 20 point per game scorer and the Rockets have other scorers that will help balance this out.


The Rockets’ new starting five will include John Wall, Oladipo, Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins. This is a very balanced lineup with good defence, plus now Wall and Wood can really eat on the offensive end without Harden needing the ball.

The Rockets have solidified their future, while still maintaining a team that can easily be a playoff team in the West. Even though they lost their star, things are not looking too bad for the Rockets.


Cleveland Cavaliers

(Photo via Forbes)

The Cleveland Cavaliers sneakily made their way into this trade and came out quite lucky. All the Cavs had to give up was Dante Exum, who is currently injured, and the Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick in 2022 and they came out of it with Jarrett Allen.

Allen was the sixth-man on the Nets, but he is more than capable of being an all-star starting centre on most teams in the NBA. He has great finishing ability around the basket, solid defence, and he may be the best shot-blocker in the league.


The only thing that now raises questions, is that the Cavs are now loaded at the centre position. They have Andre Drummond, Javale McGee and now Allen, could this mean one of their other centres is on the trade block? For the sake of Toronto Raptors fans, I hope so.


If Allen is used correctly and given the opportunity to really become a star, Cleveland could end up being the winner of this trade. They now have one of the league's best young centres and gave up practically nothing to get him, that is a huge win for the Cavs organization.


Indiana Pacers

(Photo via Getty Images)

Now last but not least, the team that I think actually won this trade by acquiring Caris LeVert, the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers were a late addition to this trade because it was Houston originally receiving LeVert, but they then instantly flipped him to the Pacers straight up for Oladipo.

I believe LeVert is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, he is an unbelievable scorer and he can hold his own on defence. On the Nets, he was never properly given the opportunity to show his full skills and become a star.


The only time he got the chance was when Kyrie went down with an injury last season, but now on the Pacers, he will be the NO.2 scoring option behind Damontis Sabonis. Given this new environment and opportunity, I think we will see LeVert bloom into an all-star and take his game to the next level.


The Pacers starting lineup is now easily top six in the East and I think they just improved their lineup majorly. The only thing is that they lose some defence that came with Oladipo, but they still have above average defenders like Turner or Brogdon and Sabonis has also shown a lot of improvements on the defensive end this year.

All I can say is that you cannot sleep on this Pacers team and I think we will be seeing LeVert as an all-star in the very near future.


Without a doubt, we are now looking at a brand new NBA and everyone will have different opinions on this trade. You can let us know who you think is the winner of this trade over on our Instagram page!